A new survey of rural bankers in 11 Midwest and Plains states suggests the region's economy remains weak, but there are also signs it may soon improve.
The bankers who responded to the monthly Rural Mainstreet survey say they're more optimistic about the future despite low farm equipment sales.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says he thinks the overall rural economic index has bottomed out. It increased to 21.7 in April from March's 18.7.
The survey's index ranges between 0 and 100, and any score below 50 on the index suggests a contracting economy over the next three to six months.
The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.